You have 24 hours to report a dog bite in Ohio. Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-28 requires you to file a report with the local health commissioner within 24 hours of a dog bite, or attack by another mammal. This will trigger an investigation, and both the report and the investigation could play a key role in helping you hold the dog’s owner liable and recovering compensation in a civil suit.
Understanding Ohio’s Dog Bite Reporting Law and Procedure
Under Ohio law, the victim of a dog bite must file a report within 24 hours of the incident. You can file a bite report incident with the local health commissioner where the attack occurred. If you have not filed this report, the doctor who provides your medical care and cleans your wounds must file a report. A veterinarian who sees a dog involved in a bite incident is also under an obligation to report the bite.
If the bite occurred in Columbus, Ohio, or greater Franklin County, you can call any of the following numbers to speak to a representative and report the bite. This includes:
- Animal Care & Control: 614-525-3400
- Columbus Health Department: 614-645-6134
- Franklin County Public Health: 614-525-3160
Not only is it the law to report a dog bite quickly as it occurs, but it is also vital to your civil case against the dog’s owner that you:
- Report the incident as soon as possible after it happens; and
- Get medical care for your wounds immediately, even if they appear minor
Both steps are imperative when building a strong case and trying to hold the dog’s owner liable for your medical care, lost wages, and other expenses. As a part of the investigation into the incident, the Bressman Law team requests copies of this report. It will list essential information about the dog bite, the dog, its owner, the location, and witnesses to the incident.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
You May Be Eligible to Hold the Dog’s Owner Liable for Your Injuries
Ohio law allows you to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the dog’s owner to recover your incident-related expenses and losses. This is true even if the dog has no history of viciousness or other bad behavior. Some states have a policy that requires a history of threatening or biting.
These states often following outdated common laws that limit the victim’s ability to pursue a payout. Ohio, however, has a modern policy that holds the owner responsible for even the first bite. If the dog’s owner has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, this policy may cover dog bite damages up to the limits of the policy. Beyond that, the dog’s owner will be personally responsible for paying for the money awarded by the court.
Recoverable Damages in an Ohio Dog Bite Case
The damages recoverable in an Ohio dog bite case differ depending on your specific losses and expenses. If Bressman Law handles your case, we will collect documentation to prove your related damages as a part of our investigation into the incident and your injuries. If we negotiate a settlement with the insurer or win an award for you in court, you may be eligible to recover compensation for:
- Medical treatment and ongoing care
- Future care costs, including plastic surgery
- Prescription medications
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death damages
Take Action Quickly Before the Evidence to Support Your Case Disappears
While reporting your dog bite injuries as soon as possible is important, it is not enough to ensure all possible evidence in your case gets identified and analyzed. To ensure the most persuasive possible argument in favor of a payout, we need to go to work on your case as quickly as possible. Therefore we recommend calling us in the first days and weeks following an injury.
Ohio law only gives us six years from the date of the bite to take legal action. In rare cases, you could have more time. Primarily, if the bite injures a child, they have six years from the date they turn 18 to file a case in civil court. After that time expires, you lost the right to pursue compensation in court.
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Talk to an Ohio Dog Bite Attorney Today
At Bressman Law, our principal attorney David Bressman has served personal injury clients for more than 30 years. We know what it takes to win a dog bite case and can build the strongest possible argument for negotiating a payout or taking your case to trial.
Call (614) 538-1116 today to talk to a member of our team about your dog bite injury in Ohio.